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7750BE + TA790GX installed - See post #23 for review - Page 3

post #21 of 31
Thread Starter 
Well...pulled the trigger on some Corsair Dominators at 1066MHz and the 7750BE+Biostar TA790GX combo at Newegg. I should have something up by the end of this week.
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post #22 of 31
You'll enjoy your new build, let us know how it turns out.

Good luck
post #23 of 31
Thread Starter 
Well I got this computer set up for the most part. Still some quirks about this computer that I don't have on my E7200 build but it runs. Long winded review, but here goes:

CPU (AMD Athlon X2 7750 Black Edition):
Ugh. Where do I start? AMD's reluctance to switch the consumer-grade CPUs to a land grid array with a locking mechanism baffles me. Intel's LGA775 has been used since the Prescott days and continues to be the dominant socket arrangement. AMD's gone from 754 to 939 to AM2 to AM2+ to AM3 in the same span of time. AMD needs to realize how easy the LGA design can be once you massively integrate it throughout your product lines. As I was disassembling my Opteron 165 build, the Opteron got stuck under the heatsink base as I was removing my Ninja and came cleanly out of the socket. I'm glad I didn't break any pins or that would seriously piss me off to hell.

Installing the 7750BE onto the Biostar was easy. It was the same old line up the triangle on the chip with the socket and pull the lever down. I gave it some Arctic Silver Ceramique, installed my Ninja and proceeded to install my OS. That went decently well once I got through the nightmarish Biostar BIOS setup (see next portion). Vista got installed well, games played fine until it hit 60C and shut down (I set it this way initially). This chip is hot. 95W may not be much of a difference from my 89W Opteron but boy does this thing produce heat. The only thing I can say is that it's a half-assed failed Phenom. CnQ doesn't work completely right either. It will drop the multiplier down to 6.75 with CnQ but will not drop the core voltage. Idle temps stay relatively unchanged whether I have CnQ enabled or not. I'm sure power consumption drops due to lower amperage required for the lower frequency but it's missing the "cool" portion of Cool and Quiet.

Motherboard (Biostar TA790GX 128M):
Biostar went overboard with the BIOS. Honestly, I've never seen such a complicated, disorganized BIOS. It has a bunch of options to choose from just for the SATA Channel Mode (IDE, AHCI, Legacy IDE, IDE -> AHCI) and I got confused by that quite a bit. I blue screened my Vista twice during boot using AHCI and IDE -> AHCI. I'm not even sure what that all means (because the manual didn't say) but supposedly Vista supports AHCI out of the box...Guess I'm not doing something right.

The RAM timings interface is very cluttered. Instead of listing all the current timings above the options, Biostar has it arranged in a way that well...looks messy.
To give you an example:
CAS Latency [Auto] <- this is where you change it
CAS Latency [5] <- greyed out line is what it is currently
tRCD [Auto]
CAS Latency [7]
Now take that list and expand it over 10 different timings and some other crap on the bottom of the screen. I think MSI did a much better job with this menu on my P43 Neo3-F board.

The fan controls are whack. Instead of having a minimum speed setting and automatically ramping up the speed based on a temperature threshold, the Biostar has a starting fan speed and a Fan Speed Sensitive (Sensitivity?) setting. Setting the fan speed to 75 and sensitivity to 13 allowed a tolerable level of noise along with a load sensitive speedup of the fans. However, a BIOS flash to the newest BIOS runs the fans at 100% no matter what setting I put it to, so I went back to the November 11th, 2008 revision.

The layout of the motherboard with the master PCIe on the bottom is peculiar. Why would you put the master PCIe on the bottom where sound cards might block airflow (like in my case with the X-Fi)? A paddle card needs to be inserted into the upper PCIe x8 slot for the motherboard to work supposedly. This is a very ancient design in my opinion and the last time I had to put in a shadow/paddle card was the Abit KN8 SLi. Something tells me the same engineers who designed the KN8 SLi, after Abit's mobo division got dissolved, got put in charge of designing the PCIe layout of this board.

Overall not too pleased with this motherboard.

My subjective rating of both parts that I obtained: Half-assed.

In retrospect, I probably should have gotten another P43 Neo3-F and a E5200. It would have come out to be about the same price anyway. I've also come to realize most of the CPU intensive stuff I do on this computer is what Intel does best: number crunching. This build is going away as soon as I get my Opteron stuff sold. As much as I want to support AMD and see the underdog punch with the heavyweights, I just can't justify recommending this platform to anyone.
Edited by RallyMaster - 1/7/09 at 6:23pm
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post #24 of 31
"AM2 to AM2+ to AM3"

...They're pretty much the same sockets
They pin compatible for legacy purposes I guess
That's a good thing IMO since lots of AM2+ users can use AM3 procs


I wish AMD will move on to LGA too with AM4 (or whatever their next socket is called) however
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post #25 of 31
I'm sorry that it didn't turn out quite as well as you'd hoped, although I'd imagine that the performance is still above that of your 939 system.

Before you jump ship completely, you might just want to at least see how the AM3 chips do. From what we've seen so far, they should be somewhere between the Core2 chips and the i7's in performance, and be very competitive in price.

Did you OC any? We havn't seen to many 7750BE's yet, so I'm sure others would like to see how much of an OC that setup produced.

Thanks for the review, and I hope you can eventually get things how you like them.
post #26 of 31
oh noes i want to get 7750 also but i guess i should wait it out but i really wanted to get a new mobo... i dont know if 790GX3 is better than 790GX... throughout the reviews GX3 gets a better score... used to be 109.99 same price as 790GX then again it went up to 124.99
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post #27 of 31
Thread Starter 
I would give this platform another chance with a Phenom II if the new AM3 supporting BIOS didn't break my fan speed controls. Performance is definitely blowing away my Opteron 165 but isn't even competitive with my E7200 in terms of CPU performance. I have not overclocked the chip. If I did, I would probably have heat issues running passively so I'm not even going to bother.

nemesis82: The TA790GX3 should be a bit better. I believe that had a master PCIe x16 slot on the top instead of on the bottom. It also has all solid caps everywhere from what I've seen. Not sure how different the BIOS is but it's certainly a step above the TA790GX 128M.
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post #28 of 31
Sorry it didn't work out for you.

I had a different experience though - my chip runs at 35c idle and 45-48c at full load. I have never had it shut down due to heat. I also managed to push it to 3.2GHz with a 1.375V Vcore. But due to my ****ty cooler, the temps hit 60c load which was too high for my liking so i lowered it back to 3.0GHz with 1.275V Vcore.

I found it to perform quite well too. It performed on par with my Phenom 9850BE (was getting WAY too hot in my system) in Crysis Warhead by a few FPS. The Phenom was overclocked to just 2.8GHz.

And yea CnQ sucks. Never worked. Apparently they fixed it in the Dragon platform.
post #29 of 31
Thread Starter 
CnQ worked in the K8 days which was part of the reason I got another AMD chip but it seems like their engineering went a bit south. I'm much happier right now on my E7200 + P43 platform. It's quieter, easier to set up, faster and simply isn't as hot. Of course, this chip was also 15 bucks more (sold the motherboard I got in the combo) but it was well worth it. This is what the computer should have been, honestly.
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post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by RallyMaster View Post

Motherboard (Biostar TA790GX 128M):
Biostar went overboard with the BIOS. Honestly, I've never seen such a complicated, disorganized BIOS.
I wholeheartedly agree. I was rendered helpless and stupidifed by the BIOS on my TForce 550SE. It's great that the board offers SO MANY different options, but it doesn't seem to be designed for the average consumer, or even the enthusiast. Although I liked the convenient grouping of overclocking features into the "Overclock Navigator Engine", a lot of the menu items are ambiguous in their function. Some settings are displayed greyed-out on one screen, and meant to be adjusted by an identical line on a different screen.

Maybe I'm just not BIOS l33t, but it reminded me of undergraduate EE class notes. Intelligently written, but indecipherable to all but the author and professor.
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